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Watt to Delay Higher G-Fees Until Evaluation Done

Statement from incoming FHFA director

Dec. 23, 2013

By Mortgage Daily staff

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac sellers can scrap their plans to begin making changes for higher guarantee fees announced earlier this month until after the incoming regulator of the pair of secondary lenders has had a chance to evaluate the impact of a fee increase.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency, under the direction of outgoing FHFA Acting Director Edward DeMarco, said earlier this month that g-fees would be increased by 10 basis points.

But incoming FHFA director Rep. Mel Watt (D-N.C.), who was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on Dec. 10, has no intention of letting the higher fees go into effect.

"Upon being sworn in as director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, I intend to announce that the FHFA will delay implementation of the g-fee and risk-based pricing plan announced in the FHFA's news release dated Dec. 9, 2013," the congressman said in a written statement.

The statement was issued to prevent lenders from implementing processes that price the previously announced changes into the market well before the effective date, which is April 1, 2014,.

Watt said he wants to delay the g-fee increases until "I have had the opportunity to evaluate fully the rationale for the plan and the plan's likely impact on the GSE's risk exposure, the cost and availability of credit and how the plan would interface with the qualified mortgage standards."

Watt noted that no further elaboration is being provided until he is sworn in next month.

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